Sports Mole preview Monday’s Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Fulham, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Only two places separate the two teams at 19 points in Table at present, the Eagles – who have a game in progress – are 11th while the Cottagers are in ninth place.
Another season of upside-down inconsistency has descended on those at Selhurst Park, but the positive signs far outweigh the negatives under patrick vierawho is pushing for his team to upset the top half of the apple basket in the second half of the campaign.
Losses to Newcastle United in the EFL Cup and Nottingham Forest in the Premier League without scoring were far from the ideal way for Palace to enter the World Cup break, and the Eagles were also left behind in more than one of their winter friendlies.
Indeed, Vieira’s side drew with Botafogo and Trabzonspor before suffering a 3-1 loss to runaway Serie A leaders Napoli – which few will beat them for – but a Wilfried Zaha The double helped Palace beat Real Valladolid 2-1 on December 16.
A tally of 19 points from 14 games left Palace within touching distance of the top half, but a paltry tally of 15 goals is no better than the last five teams in the division, and their last two Boxing Day games have ended in 3-0 defeats.
However, home is the heart of Crystal Palace, who have recorded successive Premier League wins over Leeds United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton on their own turf, and only Chelsea and Arsenal have beaten Vieira’s men at Selhurst Park in the 13 Palace’s last home games. .
The World Cup break has arguably also come at an ideal time for Fulham, with the Cottagers perhaps out of steam after a sluggish first half of the season, which has seen them cement their place in the first half. of the rank. .
Facing the two Manchester clubs in the space of seven days was a grueling affair for Marco Silvawho only lost 2-1 to Manchester City and Manchester United in both games, and it took two stoppage time winners from Erling Braut Haaland and Alejandro Garnacho to resolve these conflicts.
Only Leicester City (25) have scored more goals than Fulham (24) outside the Premier League top six this season, and the Cottagers’ only winter friendly ended in a 1-1 draw against West Ham United last Saturday, where Carlos Vinicius makes the neat ripple in the absence of the prolific Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Goal-laden away games have been Fulham’s theme in the top flight this season, with Silva’s side scoring 10 goals and conceding another 13 in their last six such games, and they could now become the first Premier League team in history to lose. three successive games courtesy of winners over 90 minutes.
None of Fulham’s last five Premier League games against Crystal Palace has ended in a win for the Cottagers, who recently held the Eagles to a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park in February 2021, and it’s been over nine years since the visitors last scored. or won at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace Premier League form:
Crystal Palace form (all competitions):
Fulham Premier League form:
Form Fulham (all competitions):
A defensive reshuffle is in order for Crystal Palace, who lost Marc Guehi to a one-match suspension for accumulating yellow cards, so James Tomkins should step in alongside returning Dane Joachim Andersen.
Goalkeeper Sam Johnson is expected to stay out until February with a tailbone injury, but he has company in the form of James McArthur and Nathan Fergusonwho probably won’t be back in action until the New Year.
Competition for places alongside talisman Zaha in attack is more rampant than ever for Palace, and the return Jordan Ayew could be given the green light alongside Odsonne Edouard for the clash of the capital.
As for Fulham, nine-goal striker Mitrovic returned from the World Cup still nursing a minor foot injury, and Silva admitted the Serbia international may not be ready for Boxing Day – the same can be said for the left-back. Antonee Robinson and his own foot problem.
Neeskens Kebano still has several months of rehabilitation before his ruptured Achilles is fully healed, while Layvin Kurzawa and Solomon Manor remain out of action after suffering setbacks in their recovery.
A third consecutive Premier League start could come to Vinicius as Mitrovic eyes a potential return against Southampton on New Year’s Eve, while Tim Rame could possibly be needed at left-back if Robinson doesn’t make the cut.
Possible starting composition of Crystal Palace:
Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Tomkins, Mitchell; Schlupp, Doucoure, Eze; Ayew, Edward, Zaha
Possible starting lineup for Fulham:
Leno; Head, Adarabioyo, Diop, Ream; Reed, Palhinha; Reid, Pereira, Willian; Vinicius
We say: Crystal Palace 1-1 Fulham
Fulham very rarely play boring business away from home, but Mitrovic’s possible absence will hamper their attacking abilities against a Palace side who are a force to be reckoned with at Selhurst Park.
Goals were also hard to come by for the Eagles just before the World Cup break, and we think this London derby has a low-scoring draw written all over it.
For data analysis of most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match please click here.